Missing Rathgama businessmen : Murdered and burnt

Missing Rathgama businessmen : Murdered and burnt

Written by Staff Writer

22 Feb, 2019 | 10:12 pm

Colombo (News 1st): Detectives revealed today (Feb 22) that the two businessmen Manjula Asela and Rasheen Chinthakawho were abducted from Rathgama on January 23rd were murdered in a private house in Akmeemana. The private house is located close to the Akmeemana, Goonamulla junction along the Galle-Udugama road, 18 km from the residence of the businessmen. The house where the businessmen are suspected to have been murdered was examined by the Galle Magistrate today.

Police Spokesperson SP Ruwan Gunasekera said according to the probe, the bodies of the two men had been burnt in the Medagangoda Forest Reserve in Walasmulla. He went onto note that as per the orders of the IGP, the OIC of the special investigations unit and a chief inspector and 15 other police officers have been transferred from the Southern Province to the Western Province.

It is noted that the workplace of the owner of the vehicle, suspected to have been used in the abduction, is located 900m away from the Akmeemana house.

Police suspect that the two businessmen were murdered at this house and their bodies were taken to a separate location and destroyed. This led to the search of the  Medagangoda Forest Reserve located 70 km from Akmeemana.

The News 1st correspondent in the area noted that bone fragments were discovered from a site that was set on fire inside the reserve. A team including the Magistrate of Wallasmulla Suranga Munasinghe, specialist of the fire investigations division of the government analyst’s department Roshan Fernando, and the Judicial Medical Officer inspected the site.

Meanwhile, two letters had been sent to the houses of the missing businessmen both yesterday (Feb 21) and today (Feb 22). One of the letters contained details on how the two businessmen were murdered, the people involved in the murder and details of the locations.

However, there are discrepancies in the location mentioned in the letter and the location inspected today (Feb 22).

The Galle Magistrate ordered detectives to detain and interrogate Sub Inspector Viraj Madusanka, attached to the Southern Province Special Investigations Unit, for a period of 48 hours. He was produced before the Galle Chief Magistrate Harshana Kekuluwela.

Earlier, Chief Inspector Nishantha De Silva of the Southern Province SIU was arrested over the incident and he is currently in remand custody.

On January 23rd, two businessmen Manjula Asela and Rasheen Chinthaka were abducted and relatives claimed, the duo was taken away by armed men dressed in clothing similar to police uniforms. According to the relatives, Galle ASP Sathish Gamage had made a statement on February 5th claiming the businessmen were in the custody of Police, however, on the 14th he denied that he made such a statement.

In an interesting twist, an anonymous letter sent to the families on February 6th claimed the men were abducted by a Special Unit attached to the Southern Province Senior DIG’s Office. The anonymous letter had alleged that one of the abductees was badly assaulted leading to his death and thereafter, the second person was killed to ensure the story did not leak out.

Investigations into the incident were handed over to the Criminal Investigations Department by the IGP after the letter was made public by News 1st. Senior DIG of the Southern Province, Ravi Wijegunawardena was transferred to the Police Headquarters on a temporary basis following the abductions.

Several policemen have been arrested on suspicion with regard to the case. The relatives of the two businessmen had received several anonymous letters.

Can it be that among the group who committed this crime, there are persons who do not approve it?




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